Trump urges boycott of Goodyear tires over MAGA attire policy
President Trump on Wednesday discouraged Americans from purchasing Goodyear tires after it was reported that company employees in Kansas were told not to wear “Make America Great Again” attire or other politically-affiliated gear.
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, adding in parentheses, “This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!”
Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
A local NBC News affiliate in Topeka, Kan., reported Tuesday on a slide purportedly shown at a Goodyear diversity training that listed “Black Lives Matter,” “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride” under “acceptable” while branding “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA attire,” and “politically-affiliated slogans or material” under “unacceptable.”
An anonymous employee snapped a photograph of the slide that has since circulated on social media. The individual alleged that the company’s policy is discriminatory, according to the outlet, WIBW.
Goodyear subsequently issued a message saying that the image created “misconceptions” about the company and its policies, stating that the visual “was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”
The company said that it does not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace and as a result asks associates to “refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”
The company also said that it supports the “diverse viewpoints” of its employees and “has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so.” Goodyear denounced suggestions that the company is “anti-police” after the image circulated on social media.
The statement, issued on Twitter, did not explicitly mention Trump’s tweet.
Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. pic.twitter.com/oO6jUg2rTR
— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 19, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the president’s tweet during an afternoon press briefing, arguing that Goodyear is targeting a “certain ideology” and needed to clarify its policy further. She also told reporters that the company should recognize “Blue Lives Matter” as an “equity issue.”
McEnany, who said Trump was speaking to his supporters, declined to say whether the presidential limo known as the “Beast” would change its tires from Goodyear, saying she wouldn’t comment on “security matters.”
Goodyear did not respond to The Hill’s request for further comment.
Goodyear’s stock declined by following the president’s message, which was broadcast to his over 85 million Twitter followers, closing down 2.36 percent.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and has facilities across the world. The company is one of the leading global tire manufacturers.
Three of Trump’s top advisers claimed they weren’t aware of the tweet when asked to expand on it Wednesday: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, trade adviser Peter Navarro and economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
Speaking on CNBC Wednesday afternoon, Kudlow said he hadn’t seen the tweet and would follow up with Trump about it, but added that in general the Trump administration’s policy is “buy America.”
—Sylvan Lane contributed. Updated at 4:58 p.m.
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